IoT and Big Data; They Work in Tandem

IoT (Internet of Things) and Big Data are like two sides of the same coin. We constantly read about how we are living in an era of connected devices. Research and Advisory firm Gartner predicts over 9.7 billion devices to get connected by the time we touch 2020.

So, are IoT and Big Data are different things or two sides same coin?

Let’s take two instances and try to identify which statement defines IoT and which one is about big data.

  1. Over 204 million emails are sent every minute. This generates 1.8 million likes on Facebook and around 278 thousand tweets.
  1. With the rapid growth in amount data generated in recent years’ industry is expected to reach $54.3 billion by 2017.

Both can mean IoT and/or Big Data. It is difficult to judge. These two concepts almost merge with each other. The end result is, the digital advancements that we see around us. Big data is what IoT means.

IoT + Big Data Analytics

Reports are in galleons on how smartphone use has increased manifold times in recent years. Every person has a smartphone and an internet connection. Apps, these days, are all about letting you do things on-the-go.

We have to understand one basic fact. IoT has generated huge amounts of data. They are of high quality and extremely sensitive data. So, what next?

Not all data are required. How will you do the filtering? How will you analyse the data? How will you dig in deeper to understand how this data can benefit?

Here comes the role of analytics. Big data analytics is the answer to all these questions. Only when you are able to filter out data and process it as per your needs, you get to reap the benefits of having data at your disposal.

Use Cases

Every brand is targeting smartphone users. There is an app for every single thing. So how does logistics work?


Would you believe that Amazon starts packing your parcel even before you have placed your order? Sounds impossible but that’s how data works for this eCommerce giant. Amazon has access to a host of data on online customers that they have mined from their 152 million+ customers. They track your online behaviour and deduce a pattern that is technically so advanced. Those customised results on every page you visit are meant only for your eyes. To know in details how Amazon is doing this, you can read the article from DataFloq on How Amazon is leveraging Big Data.

It is important for a customer to return to a brand. To make this happen, retailers have turned to big data. As big data keeps on evolving, supply chain has also evolved massively.

Amazon has already launched its Great Indian Sale, the first edition on October 1st this year. As festivity begins in India, the eCommerce giant is all set to target its users via its app as well as desktop. India’s homegrown eCommerce company Flipkart made huge business in the last two years with its Big Billion Days. Let’s see how Amazon benefits from the power of IoT and Big Data.


Another company that is creating havoc is the smartphone-based taxi booking service: Uber. Uber connects passengers with drivers. Uber’s entire business model relies on the big data principles of crowdsourcing. Uber has a huge database of drivers in all the major cities. Hence, if you need to travel, Uber gets you connected to the most befitting driver available around your locality.

Uber’s logistics have only improved with time. If you input your pick up location and your destination, Uber will show you the exact price your ride will cost you. And woila! It is accurate. Using GPS, street data and their home-built algorithms, UBer is spot-on simply.

Also, the surge price in Uber is another example. Uber’s algorithms monitor the traffic conditions of each location and estimates the journey time. According to the data, Uber’s pricing varies!

The rating system is like the icing on the cake. Your rating will directly be monitored by Uber, which simultaneously impacts the driver’s ratings. And if a driver’s ratings fall, he/she will not receive much trip requests. So, its all interconnected and how.


Data scientists are working with meteorologists to make weather predictions more accurate and visually strong. Nic Hatch, CEO of Ncam, an UK company that creates the technology pertaining to tornado stimulation reveals the use of sensors for their NcamLive system. Hatch opines that these sensors enable one to talk to each other at up to 250 frames/second while the camera transmits the video shot at that moment. He says, this enables the presenter to move around freely between various enriched graphics sequences. While the presenter is free to move around, Ncam keeps the graphics at one location.

Last year when Europe was distressed with the extreme weather conditions, big data became the only hope in predicting such calamities before-hand and getting people prepared for the same. Weather Analytics reveal that big data takes into account weather history from the past (say 1979) to seven days into the future. Pertinent variables are extracted and calculated to make predictions that matter.

IoT and Big Data are Two Sides of Same Coin

We like to stay connected and we need all the information on our finger tips. Starting with weather updates to cabs to shopping deals. We do not need to worry about losing data if we switch our devices. All we need to do is signin with our ID and password from any device at any time. We get all our data safe and secure. That’s the power of IoT. And IoT when clubbed with big data, we get services of which we never thought before.

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